See the article in this week’s Wave Newspaper below highlighting gross non-compliance on county construction projects receiving federal dollars. Black contractors, black workers and women have been cut out of work despite federal laws requiring their participation. I had the opportunity to participate in the meeting with Ms. Pleasant referenced in the article, and first a hat tip to the NAACP, NAEJA and YBCA leaders for being on this issue. The extensiveness of the documentation is impressive and disturbing.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has been touting the local hire record at the MLK Hospital, which is to be commended. However, the reality is, the bulk of county money is being spent on hundreds of projects elsewhere – everything from sidewalks to courthouses. And the record outside the MLK Hospital complex based on the information I viewed and Ms. Pleasant reported on is abysmal. There are laws that are being broken, and the advocates on this issue have apparently been unable to get even a meeting with Supervisor, let alone agreement to champion enforcement of said laws.
Just like the Crenshaw Line project is being touted as this major job creator. “Thousands of jobs” is the claim of many politicians. The reality is at most the project will employ 250-300 construction workers at any one point. Do the math: if one out of every 3 of those workers is black that is just 83-100 jobs. Far more than 100 jobs will be lost from the 4-5 year long street-level and cut-and-cover construction period and even more economic loss will occur long-term from the street-level design in Park Mesa Heights.
These are just the facts and intended to help provide a full perspective so that you can hold your politicians on the LA County and MTA board accountable.
Yours In the Struggle,
Crenshaw Subway Coalition